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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert McCarthy joined The Buffalo News in 1982 and has been political reporter since 1992. A native of Schenectady, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University.


It took a while for the Politics Column to catch up with a June 19 story in Investigative Post. That’s when the local website’s political reporter, Geoff Kelly, referred to a June 17 story in The Buffalo News reporting results of a poll conducted by GOP county executive candidate Lynne Dixon’s campaign. Not surprisingly, the results indicated a close race. The News hand…

Local News

An attorney and frequent conservative commentator on Fox News is talking to Republican and Conservative leaders about seeking the 27th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Chris Collins. Beth A. Parlato, a former Darien town justice in Genesee County who practices law in Williamsville, is stepping up her preparation for a 2020 candidacy and even attended the Mon…

Erie County

Nicholas A. Langworthy will soon relinquish leadership of the Erie County GOP as he takes over Monday as chairman of the New York State Republican Committee. And though no firm succession plan has been adopted, some within the local party are pushing for Langworthy’s wife – Erin K. Baker – to become the new county chairwoman. In the meantime, Langworthy is not commen…

Columns

Post-primary news, notes and observations: • Whatever happens down the road in November, Lynne Dixon can always say she won an election for county executive – even if a minor party primary like Independence. The county legislator from Hamburg is an Independence member and will challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Poloncarz on her home party line as well as Republican on…

Business

When Merchants Insurance Group began searching for new marketing opportunities, they looked no further than the Metro Rail stop right outside their downtown headquarters. The century-old company that has occupied its Main and Seneca streets building since the mid-1960s has become the latest firm to purchase naming rights for a Metro Rail station from the Niagara Frontie…

Local News

When the first primary election results began appearing on the Erie County Board of Elections website around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday, candidates and interested citizens thanked the techno gods. Timely access to primary night results again proved to be a wonder of the internet age. But then the stream of vote totals suddenly dried up, and frustrated visitors to the website …

Politics

New York State’s 2019 primary is history, and now conventional political wisdom dictates that Democrats and Republicans immediately dive into the general election campaign ahead. Right? Well, sort of. Sure, voters on Tuesday decided several Democratic contests for seats in the County Legislature and Common Council, as well as a host of town races (even if a major com…

Local News

For the first time in half a century, New York voters will trek to the polls in the warmth of June on Tuesday for primaries that will determine candidates for the November general election. The switch from the usual mid-September date stems from a slew of election law changes enacted in the first few weeks of the all-Democratic controlled State Legislature. In order to …

Politics

Erie County’s Democratic and Republican bosses are meddling in minor parties at an unprecedented rate by manufacturing write-in primaries that could eventually affect close races in the general election. According to the leaders of minor parties like Conservative and Working Families, voters will see dozens of write-in opportunities in Tuesday’s primary elections stemmi…

Columns

It was back in fall 2007 and the still new governor of New York – Eliot Spitzer – was coming to Buffalo for campaign appearances with local Democrats. Normally, Erie County Dems would be thrilled about help from Spitzer, the hard-charging former attorney general who the year before set the record for the strongest gubernatorial victory in state history. Though scandal w…

Local News

For the first time in five decades, New Yorkers will trek to the polls without that hint of fall in the air as a new election calendar shifts primary elections into early summer – this year on June 25. But elections officials fear few voters have inked that date into their calendars, especially since primary elections to determine party candidates for the general electi…

Local News

David Bellavia will stand before President Trump at the White House on June 25 and receive the nation’s highest military decoration – the Medal of Honor. The moment, as played out on 3,468 previous occasions in the nation’s history, will prove profound – even sacred. The Lyndonville High School graduate and former University at Buffalo student will be recognized in the …

Local News

Lynne M. Dixon’s campaign for county executive is touting its own poll showing her statistically tied in her race against Mark C. Poloncarz, calling it a sign the Republican-Independence candidate poses a genuine challenge to the Democratic incumbent. The survey of 1,325 likely voters conducted June 11-12 has a margin for error of plus or minus 3.5%, and should be viewe…

Columns

Political points for pop to ponder: • ‘Tis the season for fundraisers, when candidates work the phones, stage events, and fatten their campaign treasuries. That’s exactly what the pols are up to behind the scenes for this year’s contests, next year, and even for 2021. Take declared Republican congressional hopeful Chris Jacobs. Supporters of the state senator and vet…

Politics

Even the suggestion that New York may prohibit political candidates from seeking office on multiple lines is about to draw a lawsuit from the state’s Conservative Party. Ralph C. Lorigo, the Erie County Conservative chairman and state vice chairman, said the party will file suit next month challenging the Legislature’s creation of a separate commission to establish new …